"I want to say this: Every player that played for me and every coach that worked for me, if they feel a little part of this, they are the reason that I'm here," Stallings said. "I'm most appreciative of that.
"You can be a good football player on a bad team and still get into the Hall of Fame. If you're a coach, you go into the Hall of Fame because you've had good players and coaches, and I'm most appreciative of that. I'm very humbled and proud to be a part of this particular class."
Senior tackle James Carpenter, junior wide receiver Julio Jones, junior defensive lineman Marcell Dareus and junior strong safety Mark Barron are first-team picks.
The second-team selections from Alabama are sophomore guard Barrett Jones, junior center William Vlachos, junior running back Mark Ingram, junior linebacker Dont'a Hightower and defensive backs Robert Lester and Dre Kirkpatrick. Sophomore running back Trent Richardson also made the second team as an all-purpose/return specialist selection.
McLeod played on the 1934 national championship football team and frequently talked of his fond memories beating Stanford in the 1935 Rose Bowl, according to his obituary. At the time, the Depression was in full tilt in Alabama. Roosevelt's New Deal, enacted just a year earlier, had yet to make itself felt. Amid the desolation there was one great hope for many Alabamians: the Crimson Tide football team.
"It was your source of pride," McLeod told the Press-Register in a 2008 report. "There was no money then."
"It's egregious enough to see teams with mediocre seasons climb into BCS bowl games because they happen to be in privileged conferences, while others with better records are written off as second-class citizens," Kustra wrote. "When we cannot see how these decisions are made, it becomes an affront to the concepts of integrity and fair play that we claim to value."
The 2011 National Gymnastics Coaches Poll, featuring the nation’s top 25 teams, has the Crimson Tide at the No. 2 spot just two votes ahead of defending Southeastern Conference champion Florida and behind the 2010 national champion UCLA Bruins.
"When I did my coaches poll, I had UCLA and Florida at the top," Alabama coach Sarah Patterson said. "We lost a lot of All-Americans, but the same thing is expected year-in and year-out. It’s a compliment to our program to lose that many All-Americans and a national champion and for coaches to still think of us in that light.
It was years after Sam Cunningham ran roughshod over the last all-white Alabama football team that he understood the significance of the game between Southern California and Paul W. "Bear" Bryant’s Crimson Tide in 1970.
"I realized that it was something very, very special when I’d be around black men who grew up in the Deep South and grew up underneath the culture of the time and they would get to talking about it," Cunningham said Tuesday. "I’d see the sparkle and joy ... in their eyes and their voices. That prompted me to understand how important it was and how historic it was."